PSG won early to win tickets to continue and Juventus was also eliminated, but tonight’s rematch between the two teams in the lower leg of Group H of the Champions League still has its meaning.
In the opening match of the Champions League group stage this season, Juventus caused many difficulties for PSG and only lost with a minimal difference (1-2) during a visit to Paris. But after 5 matches, the position of the two teams was completely different. That is evident in the rankings when PSG is 8 points behind Juventus.
This huge gap caused Juventus to be soon eliminated before the closing game series. This is the first time the Old Lady has failed to qualify for the Champions League group stage since the 2013-14 season. It is an alarming bell for a team that has dominated Serie A for many years.
The irony is that in the final round of the group stage tonight, Juventus still have to compete for a ticket to the Europa League play-off round with Maccabi Haifa. After 5 matches, both teams have 3 points. Juventus is temporarily ranked above thanks to a better goal/loss difference. That means the PSG rematch tonight with Allegri’s teachers and students is not a procedural match. The Europa League is considered a “salvation” for Allegri himself after the defeat in the Champions League.
But difficult for Juventus is that in this match, PSG still has its own goals. Christophe Galtier’s teachers and students are leading Group H with 11 points, but only ahead of Benfica in goal/loss difference. Because Benfica only has to meet Maccabi Haifa in the same match, PSG need to win at Allianz to maintain the top spot.
This is a very important goal for PSG because if they finish second in Group H, they will face the risk of facing many strong opponents such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Napoli, Tottenham, Chelsea or Man City. The position in the seed group will of course increase the possibility of going deep in the Champions League this season for Christophe Galtier’s army.
Against such an opponent with such motivation and goals, it is difficult for Juventus to reclaim the debt in the first leg even though they are playing at Allianz’s home ground. Not to mention the poor performance this season, the Old Lady is in crisis due to injury. In addition to the two players who have not played this season, Pogba and Chiesa, coach Allegri also lost Dusan Vlahovic, Leandro Paredes, Angel Di Maria, Gleison Bremer, Mattia De Sciglio (injury) and Danilo (suspended).
Meanwhile, PSG still bring to Turin a squad full of the brightest stars. In particular, the danger of Juventus is the trident Messi – Mbappe – Neymar. In this season, the attacking trio of coach Galtier showed very high performance. Together, they have scored 43 goals in just 19 matches in all competitions this season.
In the first leg, it was Mbappe who shone with a quick double after more than 20 minutes to help PSG defeat Juventus. Not many people dare to believe that the current patchwork defense of Coach Allegri can block Mbappe and the remaining two powerful attacks of PSG.
The only positive signal of Juventus is that they have just established a series of 3 consecutive wins in Serie A, scoring 6 goals and not conceding. But it is worth mentioning that in the Champions League, the Old Lady lost 4/5 matches, conceding 11 goals.
As for PSG, this is the only team in the top 5 European leagues that have not lost in all competitions this season. With an explosive attack, coach Galtier’s army went through 19 unbeaten matches (won 15, drew 4).
In the match at the same time, Benfica with outstanding level is expected to defeat Maccabi Haifa. Therefore, PSG understand that they are not allowed to stumble in Turin. When the rich guy in Paris went on the field with the highest goal of 3 points, it was difficult for Allegri’s chipped squad to make a difference.
Prediction: PSG win 3-1
Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Bonucci, Gatti, Sandro; Cuadrado, Rabiot, Locatelli, Miretti, Kostic; Kean, Milik
Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Mendes; Soler, Verratti, Ruiz; Sarabia, Mbappe, Messi
Juventus vs PSG Head-to-Head and Key Numbers
- Juventus have an impressive record against PSG and have won six of the nine matches played between these two teams, as opposed to PSG’s one victory.
- PSG secured their first-ever victory against Juventus in September this year and won the reverse fixture by a 2-1 margin.
- PSG are winless in their four away matches against Juventus in European competitions, with their previous visit in 1997 ending in a 3-1 defeat.
- Juventus have lost four matches in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League this season – the first time this has occurred in their history.
- PSG have won their final group game in each of their last four seasons in the UEFA Champions League, and have scored at least four goals in each of these macthes.
- After securing progression to the knock-out stages of the UEFA Champions League in each of their last eight campaigns, Juventus have failed to make the cut this year.